I have been observing the offerings of quite a number of suspect Constellations listed on eBay by seller Londonseller1. In his listings Danny says, "I’m a new vintage watch seller and really want to be the good and reliable resource. Please feel free to become my clients." At this stage Danny (Londonseller1) I do not feel free at all to become one of your clients. In fact I have a mind to recommend to the 9000+ monthly visitors to this site to avoid you until you raise your game.
If you want to establish a good reputation, your first task is to be precise and accurate in your descriptions of the watches you sell. That means that you detail which parts have been replaced, you note if non-authentic parts have been fitted, you state that a dial has been refinished in the instances that it has, and you detail precisely what was done to service the watch: eg. complete dissembling, cleaning, oiling, etc.,etc. and you take care in your descriptions to avoid ambiguoous descriptions and unsuppportable hype.
In your listings of Constellations over the last month, the following observations can be made:
Item number: 280072197674
Appears to be an earlier re-dial with dial spot. Hands and crown are authentic for this case 168.005. Double T indicating tritium luminosity but neither the hands or markers have any traces of having been lumed. Describes the watch as an "18K gold watch". It is the standard to describe an 18k gold watch when the watch is sold gold. Londonseller1 has chosen to describe a gold top (a layer of gold rolled over stainless steel) as an 18k gold watch which is at least misleading. There are numerous claims about the authenticity and collectibility of the watch that are just not sustainable.
Item number: 280074983650
A Constellation C-Shape watch case number 168.017. Dial, hands, case are authentic. The Train bridge indicates this is a calibre 565, and no Constellation was ever powered by this calibre. The movement should be a cal 564. The rotor bridge and the train bridge appear to have either been replaced or cleaned in incorrect solution altering the copper hue of the surface. The watch is not an "ULTRA RARE CLASSIC TIMEPIECE FOR TOP COLLECTOR" and it is not " a rare GENUINE Omega Constellation watch, very collectable."
Item number: 280080541566
A Constellation C-Shaped case number 168.017. Wrong crown. I'm not sure at all that this dial belongs with this watch as I have seen it in a a 168.005 case, but I would not state with certainty that the dial is a ring-in. There are recesses for luminous material on the markers and the hands but there is no lume present. Some detritus on the dial. Pictures don't allow positive identification of the dial as original and it would appear to be a very good example of a refinished dial. This is not an "ultra rare classic timepiece" but an average quality watch not at all unattractive with, possibly, a refinished black dial (as most on the market are). There are no tell-tale signs of classic Omega black dial ageing.
Item number: 280077704734
A Constellation hidden crown model 168.004. Hands, crown and case appear correct. Not a bad refinishing job on the dial. The rotor bridge appears to have been replaced with a non-authentic bridge (no ajusted to five (5) positons and temperatures appear stamped on the bridge). The seller's pictures do not show the train bridge to confirm it is a calibre 561 so we'll have to take his word for it. This watch is not a "a rare GENUINE Omega Constellation watch" as is claimed but a reasonable example that is not to Constellation specifications. In other words it is not authentic.
Item number: 280082452277
A later model Constellation case number 168.0055 that should house a 23 jewel calibre 1011 certified movement that indicates on the wheel bridge decal that it is adjusted to five positions and temperatures. The rotor bridge on this movemenet reads 17 jewels and "Unajusted" The seller claims that the watch has a calibre 1010 "officially certified" movement. The 17 jewel calibre 1010 powered Seamasters of the period and when queried about this, Londonseller had this to say "The omega constellation ref. ST168.0055 (as seen on the back case) has Cal. 1011 movement installed. It is the same famaily with Cal.1010 movement, normally use for Seamaster diver from 1972. The triangle plate that engraved the movement Cal. might be replace by watchmaker after service (Omega dealer). That why you see the 1010 no. instead of 1011. It is not effect any function of the watch. You will see from the super clean movement. I confirm that all part of this watch is original Omega. Some part of the movement was replace from service. If you aren't the collector that serious with all details that you never see."
He goes on, "It look funny like a fake case back but it is original watch. In the past,they don't expect anyone to open it except their official dealer. I will sent you a link if you want to read it in detail. This is the fun part when you learn to collect the vintage watch."
Well, I'm sorry to say Danny that this is not the "fun" part for people who reply on your descriptions when bidding on your watches and then discover they have bought a dog, or at least in the instance mentioned above, a puppy! It is very disturbing for a buyer to learn that his/her watch is NOT genuine. For an Omega Constellation to be described as genuine all parts of the watch: case, crown, hands, dial, movement and the parts that make up the movement must meet Omega factory specifications.
If I were you, Danny, I would sack your watchmaker. Quality watchmakers who have long experience in servicing and refurbishing Omega Constellations, have numerous parts watches in stock to ensure that THEY ALWAYS REPLACE WORN PARTS WITH GENUINE CONSTELLATION PARTS or non-vital parts from the same calibre series. They do not cobble a tired old movement together with any parts they can get their hands on. They build up their sources for genuine replacement parts and are not in such a hurry to throw a watch together for sale.
If you do indeed want to build your business, drop the hype, the misleading claims about authenticity and follow the examples of other highly successful eBay sellers of Omega watches - refurbish your watches to Omega specifications and be very clear and honest about your descriptions.
I received the following comments posted in the comments section of this post in October, some months after the original post. I am always happy to publish responses from those who come under criticism on this blog.
"Hi....I'm londonseller1. One of my good client adviced me to read your web board. It is very surprise because someone write an article about my activity. Sincerely,I just start my watch business on 2005. My first watchmaker was sack, I do accept that. Most of vintage watch problem is the spare parts. It is difficult to find. Most local watchmaker will try to make it work more than make all numbers correct with Omega website. Anyway, all of them are genuine Omega spare part. I sell only fully service watch and have mechanism free service warantee with 7 days return policy. It is fair enough for e-commerce business. Nowsaday, I try my best to check all watches carefully (with new watchmaker). I would say 98% are correct and acceptable. Thank you for your comment. If you can add this to your article, I will very appreciated. Don't delete my comment. Lots of people read your article. It is fair to let me say something.Thank you.....Danny"